Two Chinese attack helicopters made their airshow debut during Airshow China at Zhuhai this week. A Z-10 from the Changhe Aircraft Industries Group made a daily flying appearance in its latest configuration. The smaller Z-19 from Harbin Aircraft Manufacturing was shown in public for the first time.
Pakistan’s defense ministry announced another test flight on May 31 of the locally developed air launched cruise missile (ALCM). The Hatf-VIII, also known as Ra’ad (Thunder), is a “low-altitude, terrain-hugging missile with high maneuverability” and a range of 350 km (217 miles), according to the ministry. It can accurately deliver conventional or nuclear warheads, the ministry added. The launch aircraft was not identified, but three previous launches since 2007 have been reported from Mirage III fighters.
Missile developers in the U.S. are working on new weapons that combine the effects and capabilities of several previous munitions into single weapons, with the aim of significantly reducing the number of types held in the inventory and dramatically increasing the in-flight flexibility of aircraft and helicopters compared with current armament options.
China’s new J-10 combat aircraft made its public debut at the Zhuhai airshow last month. Two examples of the fourth-generation fighter named “Vigorous Dragon” were part of an expanded Chinese defense presence at the event. The JH-7 fighter-bomber, L-15 jet trainer, J-8 interceptor and H-6Y bomber-tanker were also on flying and static display.
In the quarter century since the Islamic Revolution of 1979, Iran has established in-house capability for the development and production of cruise and ballistic missiles. To cope with the effect of the military equipment sales embargo on the country, Iranian specialists have mastered reverse-engineering methods.
A complex chain of illegal sales, technology proliferation and cooperation between countries the Bush Administration regards as rogue states has produced what some fear may have increased the threat to naval vessels operating in the Arabian Gulf.